“Jim-Crow” era LGBTQ discrimination bill killed by VA House subcommittee
Del. Bob Marshall’s (R-Manassas) “Jim Crow” style law which would allow private businesses to discriminate against “homosexual behavior” effectively died Thursday in a House General Laws subcommittee.
The five delegates sitting on the subcommittee, all Republican, unanimously voted to table the bill.
The bill, HB1414, authored by Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), stated a person would not be required to “perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action” as a condition of “obtaining or renewing a government-issued license, registration, or certificate” if such actions would “violate the religious or moral convictions of such person.”
Marshall went on to clarify the bill by specifying those religious convictions with “respect to same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior.”
Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director for the ACLU of Virginia, told GayRVA that Marshall’s bill would give “every individual, business, professional who gets any kind of license, registration, or certificate from the state, the locality, or any other agency or authority, board or department which would include every college and university” a license to discriminate.
“It’s like Jim Crow. It’s like a state law that says it’s okay to discriminate against black people and have two different kinds of water fountains,” said Gastañaga.
Marshall was disappointed with the bill’s defeat. ”[LGBT groups] want to compel a forced acceptance of behavior that for thousands of years people have found to be immoral and gravely harmful to the individual and common good,” said Marshall.
While the Richmond-based Christian group The Family Foundation was present for today’s hearing, they did not speak in support of Marshall’s bill.
“I think that [The Family Foundation] wants to protect Republicans more than they want to protect the policy of protecting the family first,” said Marshall, who stated a continued interest in the bill saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.”
Equality Virginia delivered 6000 signatures from Virginians who oppose the bill to the office of Del. Todd Gilbert, the head of the committee which the bill was assigned to, on January 20. The organization AllOut collected an additional 125,000 signatures from non-Virginians.
Ben Weiner is a contributor for GayRVA and RVAMag. 'Nuff said.
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